Tracey won’t say where she’s from or what sent her into hiding. But her determination and refusal to give up reminds Delilah of the spirited, hopeful girl she once was–and the dreams she still cherishes. As Tracey takes tentative steps to rebuild her life, her unexpected attraction to Delilah’s handsome, troubled caretaker inadvertently brings Delilah face to face with the past. And when Tracey’s worst fears come brutally calling, both women must find even more strength to confront truths they can no longer ignore–and at last learn how to truly be free . . .
Shelly Stratton is a fresh voice in women’s fiction. She courageously explores in THE HOUSE on HARBOR HILL difficult subject matter, beyond her years as a novelist. Her prose resonates with strength and intelligence.
Shelly took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about writing:
Black history month – what does it mean to you as a writer?
Black history month is usually the time of year when many of the authors I love – from Toni Morrison to Beverly Jenkins to Colson Whitehead – get more attention. I hope its also the opportunity for more black writers to get the spotlight shinned on them.
Is it more challenging/difficult approaching the publishing business as a woman of color?
It depends on how you’re approaching the business. Self-publishing has lowered the barriers for almost anyone who wants to write a book to be able to write, format, and sell it, so that route is an open field, but getting published by a large trade publisher is challenging for most people. I would argue, in many ways, its even more challenging for women of color if you don’t already have a high-profile platform. At my publishing house, most of the black authors submitting do not have agents, so that already limits who they can submit their work to. In addition, several publishing imprints that specialized in women of color fiction and romance have shuttered in the past three years. I have quite a few author friends who are women of color who saw their imprints shut down and are finding themselves starting all over again. They’re submitting but getting lots of nos. So yes, it can be challenging. But then again, its challenging business to begin with. We know what we’re getting into!
How has the mystery genre received your novels?
I haven’t really heard any feedback so far from mystery fans. Most of my books contain an element of mystery, but it would be hard to characterize them as straight-forward mystery novels. I’m a fan of genre hybrids.
Anything you’d like to share as being a women of color novelist. (Maybe you don’t even think about it?)
I love being a storyteller and am an avid reader of all genres – from horror to romance to literary fiction to non-fiction, and I’m sure you see all those influences in my writing. With that being said, I also bring the perspective of a woman of color to my writing. I hope it’s the little something I add that helps make my storytelling distinctly mine.
Anything you’d like to say about diversity in writing – Many voices being published from all over the world..
I’m glad that in college I had professors introduce me to authors like Hanan al-Shaykh and Haruki Murakami so that I’m completely open to different perspectives and approaches to storytelling. I know whatever way I tinker, I’m not inventing the wheel. Writers from all over the world have tried different approaches to writing while presenting their unique stories and cultural perspective.
Shelly Stratton is an award-winning journalist who earned her degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. Another Woman’s Man, her novel written under the pseudonym Shelly Ellis, was nominated for a 2014 NAACP Image Award. A film buff and amateur painter, she lives with her husband not far from Washington, D.C. Visit her online at http://www.shellyellisbooks.com.
Connect with Shelly
Thanks to TLC Book Tours, we have one copy of THE HOUSE ON HARBOR HILL to giveaway. Just tell us about a special friendship you have.
We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.
GIVEAWAY: USA only, please.